United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Mr Chairman,
Fiji aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the G77 and China, and
those made by the Chairs of AOSIS and Pacific SIDS.
The evidence of negative impacts of climate change on the Pacific region are
many and two of Fiji?s close neighbouring countries, Tuvalu and Kiribati, are stark
examples of that.
In the case of my own country, Fiji, the effects of changing weather patterns have
been felt heavily by our people. The rate at which natural disasters, such as
floods and hurricanes, have hit Fiji and their severity have increased markedly in
the recent years. For the first time in 35 years, we experienced the devastation of
a Category 4 cyclone in February this year, costing our economy more than
F$100 million.
In addition, Fiji was not spared from the impact of the global financial crisis, which
forced our Government to devalue its currency by 20%. This in turn has had
negative impacts on our economy and our people. Moreover, given Fiji?s
centrality in the South Pacific and special trade relations with its Pacific Island
neighbours, those countries have been affected equally if not more.
For our part, a Strategic Framework for Change implemented from 1st July 2009,
guided by the People?s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress, seeks to
address all of the concerns and issues highlighted in the MSI.
The need for concrete action from our development partners in providing much
needed resources to enable us to adequately meet these challenges is more
critical now than ever before. Although there have been many pledges made in
the recent past to assist small islands states, what Fiji and I?m sure the whole of
AOSIS needs, is action. Time is not on our side. Our survival as island people
and island nations depends on international cooperative action, a United Nations
committment to SIDS and our own committment as island people. The time for
decisive action is now.
I thank you Mr Chair.